Thursday, March 25, 2010
This week your Missouri Senate pushed back again working for the passage of “The Health Care Freedom Act” (SJR 25). This important legislation would allow the people of Missouri an opportunity to vote for a constitutional amendment that would block mandatory participation in Washington’s total government-run health care proposal.
This measure, if passed by the voters, would not allow fines or penalties to be levied against employers and individuals who opt out of government-run care and pay for their own health care. I believe we should protect our individual freedom and not let government bureaucrats gain more control over our lives. I think it is very unfortunate that the states are put into this position. I wish our congress would have addressed some of these issues before it got to the point that it is today, but those opportunities have passed us by.
The Senate Appropriations Committee continued its work this week with discussions on spending priorities and spending cuts to the Governor’s recommendations for the state’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget which begins July 1. It is no secret that deeper spending cuts will have to be made for next year’s budget, but thus far we are just trimming around the edges and rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
At some point in the budget process, the politicians will have to accept the facts, make the spending cuts and balance the budget. However, I expect it may take a little longer than the regular legislative session for the Governor and the General Assembly to come to an agreement on difficult budget cuts. It looks like I may need to contact my landlord and extend the lease on my apartment.
I cannot stress to you enough the severity of the budget this year and even greater problems next year. With that in mind, the Senate this week broke from tradition on floor debate and split up into groups of four to study reforms to our state government. The group to which I was assigned dealt with tax credits and economic development. The department put forth a plan to rearrange our 61 tax credit programs into six more easily managed tax credit departments.
. . . .The only jobs we [government] create are ones that produce more red tape and bureaucracies. The private sector is the area that creates jobs --- our small business owners across the state. 92% of the jobs created in this state are created by small businesses, but we spend millions of dollars per year dangling out tax credits and incentives to lure 8% of the businesses to the state at the expense of the ones that are already here.
. . . . Given the current job situation, apparently what we have been doing in economic development is not proving to be successful. Sometimes simple answers for complex problems are better because we as a government have allowed simple problems to become so complex.
As always, I appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. I can be reached in Jefferson City at (573)751-1882, e-mail to email@example.com or write to me at 201 West Capitol Avenue, Room 420, Jefferson City, MO 65101.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I could not "live blog" because I couldn't catch a connection strong enough or long enough to upload this from the Forum. I've only included the first three questions in this post because including all of the responses to all 9 questions would result in a extraordinary long post.
Only 7 of the 9 candidates running for U.S. Senate showed up at the MO Decides. On the outset, it was clear the Rep. Roy Blunt would be unlikely to attend, but since the so-called Health Care Reform vote is today, he did have a legitimate reason for not attending. Mike Vontz also did not attend because he traveled to DC to rally against the bill.
Question #1 : The U.S. Senate is one of the most powerful legislative bodies in these United States. Please explain why youʼre qualified to be a U.S. Senator. Please include if you have run for a political ofﬁce, and which public offices you have held.
I really wasn't impressed with most the answers I heard and didn't start logging my thoughts until Sen. Chuck Purgason gave the response:
"because I've helped balanced the budget in Missouri for the last 8 years."
"Basically my qualifications are the Constitution."
He did not say what it was, but I'm assuming he means that Art. 1 Sec. 2 sets a standard that he fits: he is a U.S. Citizen and has obtained the age of at least 25 years.
He's never run for office.
Question #2 : What would be your solution to solving the immigration crisis in America?
Sen. Purgason says...follow Art. 1, Section 8: Closed the border. He's a "proponent of a real fence."
#1 thing for our security; supports aggressive immigration enforcement policy. "If you come across illegally, we should send you back."
He's like to see campaign promises fulfilled campaign promises to build a fence.
Believes "we" [Republican Party] need to reach out to people of minority races.
She then reads direction from Christianity Today - America should grant legal status for illegal aliens.
[Each candidate could give two :30 second rebuttals; Solomon took an opportunity after a few other candidates answered to add:]
She agrees with encouraging businesses to use E-verify; "people should come to America if they want to be of help"; favor of English in all the schools because it "unties us all"; "many Hispanic people have made great contributions to our society
He became a nationalized Citizen in 1995; his Dad used visa to be migrant field worker starting in 1955. The same program my Dad used to come here doesn't make now.
He does not support "overnight" amnesty; but seems to support gradually granting amnesty with the caveat: "citizenship to those who want it." He seemed to imply that some illegal aliens don't deserve amnesty but some do but didn't give clear distinction here.
He later gave a rebuttal with some clarity: He's for strong borders, and national defense, but not for giving amnesty to those violating the liberties of other people; but honestly, hardworking illegals should be allowed to live the American dream.
Said: Illegal immigration is illegal. There is a process to come into this country...we pay $30,000 per year for keeping illegal aliens in our prisons.
Wants more usage of E-verify.
Supports building a wall.
Sends a strong message: "I'm not for any kind of amnesty."
James H. Schmidt:
"we don't have a physical border"; we need to put up fences or physical borders; we need to remove the incentives for coming here; we need to prosecute illegal aliens
policy changes aren't going to help; we need to enforce current policies
1. secure borders
2. enforce current policies
sending people back? 100 million? It would be difficult to send illegals back.
Question #3: According to the United States Constitution, under what circumstances may the federal government authorize military action?
peace through strength
pay fair wages for military (they did not get a pay increase in the last military budget appropriations bill apparently)
we need to build "strong friendships and relationships" with the international community [but later she did say she would vote for the U.S. to pull out of the U.N.]
work with the international community
we cannot be isolationists
He quoted from Article 2; the Constitution gives the president the right to declare war with consent of Congress. He said the president can do whatever he finds necessary in the first 100 days, but then Congress must declare war.
Kristi Nichol is for strong defense, diplomacy is a good tool. Mr. Obama propose a Cap & Trade tax greater than our national defense budget. We can't stand around all day without taking action.
Founders wisely gave the President the ability to respond to immediate threats.
All wars should be declared by Congress.
Keep military well funded to show our strength
We've spread ourselves all around the world that maybe we could bring home.
Congress has the right to declare war.
Belief: finish what we start and always protect ourselves
global camaraderie is nice but the US is where we live and its what we need to protect; protect swiftly
Situation where we are not allowed to "win" wars anymore. We refused to have an energy policy that allows America to be energy independent.
500,000 people died in a 3rd-world country because but we didn't go into defend them; we didn't go because that country doesn't produce oil
need to be aggressive countries developing Nuclear weapons